Satisfaction is elusive.
Most days, I feel I could be better at work, more fit, or have more money. And, there is a benefit to that. I’m constantly trying to improve myself and the world around me.
But there’s also a negative side to that mentality. It’s this: I’m rarely satisfied.
The thirst is never quenched; the hunger is never satiated.
And that’s a problem. You probably know what I mean.
Look at our world: doesn’t it seem to be getting more dissatisfied?
Even before social media, people try to keep up with the Joneses with a bigger house or a nicer car or whatever. But now, with social media, we’re trying to do that with everyone worldwide. The Joneses are everywhere. We are tempted to think our lives are not what they should be when we aren’t traveling to exotic places every week on a private jet. I joke, but I’m also being serious.
Because, if you’re being honest with yourself, don’t you feel that way when you’re endlessly scrolling down your feed? Doing that blinds us from reality.
When we stop to look at our lives, there is good—a lot of it.
If you’re healthy, you’re rich. You don’t have to be a billionaire to be rich. You just have to be able to walk around and get a clean bill of health from your doctor, and you’re golden.
If you have people who love you (most of the time), you’re loved. You’re surrounded by those who want to be around you and cherish time with you.
If you live in a country that lets you wear speedos at your pool or in Times Square, say what you want and believe what you want without getting thrown in jail…
You get it. We all have reasons to be satisfied with our situation.
We all want to be happy.
And the reason, I believe, why so many of us are unhappy is because we blame our circumstances for our unhappiness.
But I think what really makes us unhappy is how we see circumstances. We are dissatisfied. The problem, however, isn’t our situation, our net worth, the square footage of our homes, the kind of leather seating our cars have, no.
Satisfaction comes from within.
Satisfaction isn’t external. It’s internal.
It’s not what we have or don’t have. Satisfaction is being able to see all that we do have and being grateful for it.
I’m not saying that satisfaction is settling. The desire to be better isn’t bad. We should strive to improve and have purpose in our lives.
But we should do that for the right reasons, like attaining excellence, a passion for a craft, improving the circumstances for our families, or just becoming better humans—not to one-up our neighbors or share photos on social media to get likes.
Satisfaction is the root of happiness. So if you want to be happier, you need to learn how to be more satisfied.
One last thought on that. To be satisfied. We need to look at expectations.
Expectations are good, but often they can go awry when we start comparing ourselves to others. And often, we can expect ourselves to be far better than we are.
For example, maybe you are trying to lose weight, and you made a goal to lose fifteen pounds. But when you lose a pound in a week, you might get discouraged because it’s going so slowly. You’re discouraged and dissatisfied. But I would say your expectations are off. Instead, you can see losing one pound as an accomplishment. You progressed. You can be satisfied with the work so far.
Being satisfied isn’t a magic trick. Instead, it starts with changing your mindset.
It starts by stopping to see all the good that you already have.